AskPat 761 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up, everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 761 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
All right, now here's today's question from VK.
VK: Hi Pat, my name is VK Shaw. I'm planning on designing and selling greeting cards with small bracelets for the holiday season on Amazon. I'm just selling this seasonal item. Should I also have my own website to sell them or have a website for information about them? My plan was to utilize my email list and send out links to the Amazon pages for the items. I'd like to keep things simple so I can focus on card design. Thanks for doing the podcast. It's been very helpful.
Pat Flynn: Hey VK, thank you so much for the question today. I really appreciate it. You know, a lot of people have been doing this lately. They've been selling specifically through their email list even without a website. For those of you who have participated in the 100 Email Challenge, which you can still do today if you want, if you are just starting your email list you can actually build your email list now even before you have a website or business. You can use it to validate your idea, you can use it to collect interest and then use that interest list to determine what your blog should be about or what products you should sell. If you want to check that out, go to 100emails.com.
What's cool is that a lot of people are building their email lists and interest lists first even before a website and if you already have products to sell you can do it that way too, just like VK with your cards and your bracelets and stuff. I think that's a good idea to start with, just to see if there is any interest there at all and what I would do then is keep in mind that you want to create a website at some point. Your website is your home online and an email list is great and obviously is very important, but nobody knows your email list exists, nobody knows you exist unless you put in the work and the thing about having a website is people can find you on their own and that is through Google and through linking. People can't link directly to your email list unless you have a website.
Now you can have a landing page to start out with too if you want to have something with some information to share: pictures of the bracelets and the greeting cards and whatnot beforehand. You can set up a lead page from LeadPages.net for example, but to start out I'm saying yes, it's okay to maybe even for one season to try out the email list, but I would eventually get to the point where you have your own website and your own store. A lot of people are selling through Amazon like you said, but you can also set up your own Shopify account, for example, and have your own store. And that's a little bit more professional and you'd be able to play around with the pricing a bit more, you'd be able to better manage your inventory.
Selling through Amazon is great too. They fulfill for you as well, if you want through FBA or through fulfillment by Amazon. I've experimented with that and it's a bit confusing and if you want to keep it simple that may or may not be the right way to go, but you can check it out. But if you are selling these products already on Amazon and you have a link you can just share then, yeah, an email is a great way to start for sure.
That's pretty cool. Hopefully that helps and yeah. Keep it simple to start always, everybody, but also think bigger. I think this is pretty cool, VK, that you're doing this, but I would also say aim for the stars. What, in an ideal world, would be your best situation? Maybe it is just keeping it simple because this is sort of a hobby on the side, but I say that if you really want to go big and global with this, if you want most people to find this who are interested in it, well then you'd want to create your own website. And then that way you would be able to link to it much easier if you do guest posts or if you get featured anywhere else.
I mean, here's the thing. What if your products on Amazon do very well and Oprah picks it up? And she's like, “These are one of my favorite things of the year.” And when that happens things go gangbusters. Where are people going to go? How will they know where to sign up? Where they can find more stuff? Yeah, they can find it through Amazon, but how are you going to collect that information from them? How are you going to learn who they are if you get some sort of public announcement about it like that? It's going to be difficult.
The hard thing about it is you are starting with an email list so you'd have to build that email list on your own already and yes, Amazon is a search engine, and people can find your product through there and find you for the first time through there, but you don't get access to customer information through Amazon and that's the hard part. And that's another reason why you'd want to create, eventually, your own store and sell through there because then you'd be able to keep people in your ecosystem.
So, hopefully that helps. Thank you so much for the question. I want to wish you all the best and send you an Ask Pat T-shirt for having your question featured here in the show. And for all of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks again for listening and here is a quote to finish off the day by none other than Mark Cuban and that is: “All good businesses are personal. The best businesses are very personal.”
Take care, guys and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye